[NULL] Just-in-Time Debugger [T4]

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It was late by the time you get out of Mnemosyne's, and your Daimyo summoned you for a quick report on your progress for the day. You found him sitting quietly in his courtyard, atop the Neon Pagoda, teaching his eldest daughter's son how to prune his first bonsai tree. He rose from the lesson, and directed you indoors, away from his family — he never speaks about Giri in front of his family. How does this make you feel? Once you've issued your report, he dismisses you for the day and returns to his family. How much of your findings did you reveal to him?
Just as you're about to exit the Neon Pagoda, you get a ping from Junko, reading, "Hey! I'm at the club! Want to catch a drink with me?"

Comments

  • tao-Banner-02
    I feel complimented. Giri is a thing we have, my daimyo and I. His family sees him as a peaceful man, a grandfather. I know how he manages the Pagoda, how he runs his organization. I am honored to speak of Giri with my master.
    I am free from responsibility for now, so I give Junko-chan a broad smile, "Hai. I would like that very much. I have just concluded my business for the day. A drink, or two, would be lovely." I will head down to the dojo first to store my daisho, then I will find Junko for drinks.
  • edited July 17
    Master Seigi was at the dojo, and he offered you an esteemed location to store your daisho — all of your Daimyo's honorbound have access to the Dojo, but master Seigi, holds you in high regard. Are you armed at all by the time you go down to the club?

    image
    You take the elevator down to the basement level of the Neon Pagoda, and as the elevator doors slide open, you're basked in the electric glow of pink and purple neon lights, and shaken by the loud bass of trance music playing in the background. It's not the busiest you've ever seen the Pagoda, but there are a good few hundred people here, drinking, dancing, and partaking in various neurochip inhibitor/enhancement programs.
    Junko is already buzzed by the time you find her on the dance floor. She's dancing with the CEO of some new start-up — the heir to some music dynasty, turned philanthropist. His name is Dolby, and he's dancing on what appears to be autopilot, taking in the scene of the club.

    Junko approaches you, and wraps her arms around your neck, swaying to the beat without interruption. "Heeeeeyyyy, Tao! Lovely! I found us a dancing partner!" she grinds up against you, and offers you a drink — your favorite, might I add. What is it? "I got you this."
  • tao-Banner-04
    I am completely unarmed when I enter the club proper. It's thrilling, the safety of being here, of being a person, if even it's only an illusion.

    Currently, my favorite drink is a Kir Royale.
    image
    A Kir Royale is either Chambord (raspberry) or blackcurrant liqueur and sparkling wine, often with a berry or two in the glass, as well. It's fizzy and pretty and makes me giggle when I drink it cold.
    I take the glass and subtly move it around her side so it doesn't get in the way of grinding. I am in a grinding mood, and this is a one-two punch of delight I will savor. I lean in to nuzzle Junko's neck the way it makes her giggle, then I turn to look at the CEO. Give him a curt nod of respect, "Dolby-san, I am glad to make your acquaintance. I hope you're having a good time at the Pagoda tonight." I await his response before I play with Junko further.
  • Dolby nods in time with the beat, "Yeah, sai — Junko here's been all 'Tao-san this, Tao-san that' since we got in here... The Pagoda is a bit mainstream for my tastes, but it's super rich — like, they clearly spend more per night than most of my usual haunts do in a month." He smiles, "this is gunna be one helluva night."
    Junko pulls your gaze down onto her, and resumes her little dance. "Did I do good?" you hear her through the veil, on a private channel.

    What do you do?
  • edited July 18
    tao-Banner-01
    Mainstream for his tastes? Interesting. I let the slight pass as I look over the man. He was in Sarah Pike's gaming group. This is the man who hired the boss who affronted Sarah, perhaps ruined her career. She's still aching for either the status or the work itself, that is obvious. I feel what I assume is Mnemosyne's emotions clouding my thoughts as I wonder how I could convince Dolby to help Sarah, or force him to oust Pajun and hire her, saving her from the current purgatory she suffers from.
    Junko-chan pulls me from my thoughts on Dolby and the brainbox tech and Sarah. I smile as I bask in the dark pools of her eyes, pull away to take a long sip of Kir Royale, then I giggle and kiss her. I explore her mouth with my tongue, then share some of my drink with her. She seems surprised. It's a brazen act, and more than we did here before by far.
    I reply in the veil, "I am very pleased, Junko-chan. I will reward you three-fold for your thoughtfulness. You are a wonderful and lovely servant to my whims." My free hand drifts down to her hip, feeling the sway she gives them as she dances.

    It might be wisest to hand this to Mnemosyne, to use the leverage of my office to lean on Dolby to hand Sarah what she needs, but pass the credit to Mnemosyne. She would be pleased, I think. Scared of a deeper relationship. But pleased.
  • Throwing Dolby to the wolves would certainly be a way of diverting the attention off of Sarah... The night progresses. You drink, dance, and generally enjoy yourself for quite some time. Dolby has been slow on the uptake of drugs, and booze. He's spent most of his evening eyeing the club, sizing it up, and slowly growing more comfortable as people pour in for the night rush.
    Junko's high on some emotion-enhancing neurochip code, soaking in sensations at every opportunity. Did you join in? She takes your hand, and tugs you in the direction of the stage, where three hypersexualized androids are dancing, mostly nude, to the enjoyment of onlookers. "I want to dance on the stage. Come with me!"
  • tao-Banner-01
    During the night, I peel off my kimono to reveal a shimmery tank top and short shorts. Reckless abandon tempts me, and I am free of the burden to my lord for the night. After I let Junko-chan share some of that chip with me, I kick off my heels and dance barefoot.
    I am safe here. I am free now. I am not an Honorbound. I am Tao.
    I let Junko-chan drag me to the androids,
    and I climb up onto the stage nimbly, then reach to pull her up. I put a hand on an android's hip and dance with them, throw a hand up into the air and scream as loud as I'm able, delighting in how the crowd and the music and the bass swallows it up."Devour me, void!" I call into the night. I lean over to Junko-chan, reaching a hand around her neck to guide her mouth to mine, and I take it.
  • edited July 19
    Junko joins you onstage, and the crowd gathers to cheer you both on as you dance together. A few other would-be dancers join you up on stage. Dolby pairs up with one of the android strippers, and mimics your dance. You scream into the void, and the crowd joins in — your chip kicks up an endorphin rush that makes the whole experience feel utterly unreal. You pull Junko into a deep kiss, and she's all over you. Your body is overloaded by a flood of sensations. Time passes, but you have no idea how much — it's lost in the flurry of carnal pleasures.

    Junko finally pulls back from the kiss, and smiles. She's hyped up, and giggling like a schoolgirl. You hear a scream behind you, and Junko's expression turns from one of undiluted pleasure to one of abject horror. You look over your shoulder, and notice Dolby isn't on stage anymore, and one of the androids is kneeling over a bloody corpse, its hands and face spattered with fluorescent blood that glows under the blacklight. It rises slowly from its crouched position, and eyes you and Junko. People are backing away from the stage, and a few of the other club patrons are pulling away the dancing partner of the unfortunate soul who just became that android's victim.

    What do you do?
  • I step in front of Junko-chan. making sure she remains safe. The endorphin of violence fills me along with the chip's effects, and I close on the android. These aren't combat-ready things, their servors won't have the sickening power of a SecOps droid. I will tear this one apart. It will be glorious.

    "To me, you thing!" I dive at him with a visceral grin on my face.
  • tao-Banner-01
    Rolling to Neutralize. Tao is feeling Joynow.
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 6, 4. Total: 10)
  • tao-Banner-01
    - I choose to Force a change of location (spending 2 hold to get this thing to the guard for the club)
    - I will also Inflict Harm

    --------------------------
    On a 10+, you generate 3 Hold and take no Harm in the doing. On 7-9, you generate 2 Hold and you will take Harm in the doing. Spend your Hold 1 for 1 during the scene to:
    „ Inflict Harm.
    „ Take away an advantage (requires 2 Hold to be spent).
    „ Suffer little Harm.
    „ Force a change of location (1 Hold and the MC chooses the new location, 2 and you do).
    „ Impress, dismay or frighten your opponent
  • image
    You launch into an attack, and the android's hardware isn't able to keep up with you. To say there's something wrong with the bot is an understatement — it's almost as though you're facing off against a human who's acting through a laggy system. The bot block movements fractions of seconds too late, and throw punches in places you've moved from.

    You kick it off the stage, and guide it over to the club's security guard — who happens to be Epoch, who was struggling to get his way to you through the crowd. By the time he gets to it, it's filled with dents, and it's neck is bent out of shape. Epoch brings his katana down on the bot's head, and it's limbs fall limp as it collapses to the floor.
    You see the gratitude on his face, even as the crowd scatters — but he looks over your shoulder, and nods for you to look. You see the other two bots on stage convulse, and break with their programmed routine, assuming what looks like a fighting stance. "That's not good," he mutters, as he offers you his wakizashi.

    What do you do?
  • I give Epoch a wide smile, my eyes slightly unfocused as I feel the haze of the night's debauchery catching up to me. I take the wakizashi from Epoch, dip my head in a nod. Curious that he offered me his companion sword. Some call the wakizashi the sword of "honor" since it is used in seppuku, the last gesture a samurai can make to restore their honor in death.

    "We will let another find out why this happened." I say as I start moving towards the androids. "Let's stop this!"
  • Epoch follows you out to the Androids, who are now indiscriminately, and openly attacking anyone they can get their hands on in the crowd. You catch one of them just as they're reaching out for Junko; but when it spots your weapon, it immediately turns its attention to you, lunging into an attack with the ferocity of a wild animal.

    What do you do?
  • tao-Banner-01
    I don't hesitate to meet the attack, throwing caution to the wind as I flash the wakizashi in a wide arc, using the androids ferocity as a guarantee that it will meet the bite of my blade. My left hand is ready to grab and throw this thing away from Junko-chan, I will not allow her harm.
  • tao-Banner-01
    Rolling to Neutralize. Tao is feeling Powerful about this fight.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 3. Total: 11)
  • tao-Banner-01
    - I choose to Inflict Harm
    - I choose to take away an advantage

    --------------------------
    On a 10+, you generate 3 Hold and take no Harm in the doing. On 7-9, you generate 2 Hold and you will take Harm in the doing. Spend your Hold 1 for 1 during the scene to:
    „ Inflict Harm.
    „ Take away an advantage (requires 2 Hold to be spent).
    „ Suffer little Harm.
    „ Force a change of location (1 Hold and the MC chooses the new location, 2 and you do).
    „ Impress, dismay or frighten your opponent
  • edited July 21
    The bot lunges at you, and you meet it with the full ferocity of your unchained emotions. You block the bot's first swipe at you with the sheath of Epoch's wakizashi, and kick it back. It's a dancer-bot, so it's not very heavy, but it is nimble — it lands a few feet back from you, and comes rushing back for more. You spar with it for a few moments, looking for the right opportunity to lay into it, when circumstance sets you up perfectly... In a desperate move, the bot tries to tackle you — but you deftly leap out of the way, and slash Epoch's dull blade across the bot's chest. It's thrown off balance long enough that you can slip behind it, and sever its spinal hydraulics in a single cut to the base of the neck.

    The bot falls to the floor limp, its muscles deflating to a fraction of their normal size and power. You see Epoch dice up the other dancer with his Katana moments after you take yours out. With the last two dancers downed, things in the club appear to be settling. A weird thing happens: while there may be some bleed with whoever hacked this bot through the veil, you swear it's feebly, and ineffectually, cowering away from you in fear — maybe even out of self preservation. Your neurochip is still in overdrive, and it floods you with emotion. How does seeing it exhibit these "emotions" make you feel?
  • tao-Banner-03
    Outwardly, I show nothing as I stab the wakizashi through its cyberbrain. I twist the blade savagely in a half turn so that it rips into the brain and rends it unusable.

    Bots do not think, they do not feel. They cannot. They are created to ape us in every way, they have logic that allows them to consider themselves sentient. But they are not. They are not people.

    I blow out a breath as the last one lies in shambles. The comfort of a job well done is enhanced by the chip and I feel relief wash over me.
    I laugh, the corners of my mouth curl up, and I hand the blade back to Epoch. "Your blade needs sharpening, Epoch." I meet his eyes for a long moment, thanking him silently, "You fought well. I appreciate your help."

    After a moment, I glance around to find Junko-chan.
  • Epoch takes the wakizashi, and slashes it through the air to remove any excess hydraulic fluid from the blade before sheathing it. "You must be high — I sharpened these this morning." He shakes his head, but bows respectfully, suddenly remembering his manners. "The Honorguard thanks you for your swiftness in dispatching this threat to our daimyo's interests. I'll be sure he hears of it."
    Junko isn't far at all, she was cowering away from the crazed machine when you approached, but now the mood enhancement app has her back on her feet. She giggles gleefully, and swings a wide, clumsy kick at the pile of parts on the floor. She leaps into your arms, "You saved me! Holy wow! You saved my life!" She plants a kiss on you, and gets lost in those artificial hormone surges. She kisses you deeply, her hands running across your cheek, and smearing the "blood" of your enemies over your face. It glows fluorescent in the black-light of the club. Cheers erupt around you.

    What do you do?
  • tao-Banner-03
    I give Epoch a lopsided grin, and answer, "I'm blitzed out of my gourd!" I return his bow as level as I can, "When do you get off? My answer's... in the next few minutes, but you can join me soon, hai?" It's been a while since Epoch and I were together. He's always so busy here in the club.
    I snicker as Junko-chan kicks the bot, and slip my arms around her when she comes up to me. I kiss her with abandon, hands roaming across her back, down her hips, across her shapely butt. I wear the blood as a trophy, and Junko's elation is infectious. When I hear the cheering, I look around at the people, address them, "Apologies for the interruption in tonight's fun! Many thanks to Epoch for protecting us all!" I slide an arm around Junko's neck, lean in to whisper, "Your life's mine now, right?" I'm half-joking, curious how she reacts.
  • Epoch shakes his head, amused at your blunt response to his rhetorical question, and sighs, "I'm on duty all night... Call me when you're sober tomorrow — we can get a drink or two, and I'll show my appreciation proper." He bows again and takes his leave of you, turning to the staff of the bar, and managing the removal of the bots from the dance floor.
    Junko's slowly becoming more and more steady on her feet, and the shaking in her hands has largely subsided — the adrenaline mitigation routines working their magic on her. That endorphin rush off the night's events though, combined with the cocktail of hormones that black box is cooking up, has her unfiltered. "Totally," she answers without hesitation, "oh shit... This app is banzai! Can we get out of here? I wish to honor my hero!"
  • tao-Banner-03
    I give Epoch a nod, then turn my attention to Junk-chan. "Yeah, let's get out of here. Want some party favors? Some guests?" I take her hand, start leading her for the door where I can pick up my daisho. I'm not leaving without it. I assume we're headed to my apartment. Unless she has other plans.
    Not sure why I asked her if she wanted party favors or guests. That's normally my call.
  • Junko pauses a moment to consider the offer, her finger daintily resting on her lower lip. "You know, this app is amazing, I think I need to keep my wits about me for what I'm about to do..." She leans in close to you, and whispers in your ear, "it involves my mouth." She pulls back and winks, "don't let that stop you, though! My hero deserves whatever my hero wants! ... Anything."

    She's good to go whenever you are... Do you grab anything/anyone on your way out?
  • tao-Banner-03
    I chuckle at Junko-chan's forwardness and temerity. I reach a hand up to touch her bottom lip, "I happen to like that mouth." I cue up Tae Hyun with a quick query if he has anything interesting.

    Then I decide to tap out a message to Mneomosyne.

    Mnemosyne:
    My daimyo has given me leave to relax this evening and resume
    my work tomorrow. If you are free, you may join me tonight at
    my flat.
    It overlooks the Pagoda.

    "Let's go, Junko-chan. I am very interested in what you're about to do." I kiss her, open and without hesitation. Take a little bit of the oil from my cheek, and touch it to her left cheek, like a bit of battle scar.
  • Junko suckles your finger as it touches her lower lip, and pulls you eagerly for the exit.

    You're going to have your hands full tonight, Tao...

    Continued in [NULL] The Tutelage of Master Seigi [T5,R4].
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